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A Rectification Of Names
So, up in Seattle, a Muslim goes Jew hunting in a target-rich environment, killing one and wounding several others, all of them women, one of them pregnant (he almost got a twofer, there). Once again, we're assured by the authorities that there's no reason to think that this is terrorism. In fact, the police are now reportedly guarding the local mosques against "retaliation," ignoring the fact that the vast amount of such incidents seem to occur not against mosques (in which much hateful propaganda is propagated), but against synagogues.
Stop and think about the absurdity of that for a moment. A man walks into a building full of Jews, says that he's angry about Israeli actions, and starts shooting at innocent civilians. But we should be relieved, I guess, because it's not terrorism.
This is just the latest example of the ongoing folly, begun in the wake of September 11, of calling the conflict in which we suddenly found ourselves (but had really been going on since at least 1979) a war against "terror." As has been oft stated before, while the people who are trying to kill us largely are terrorists, the terror is a tactic (and a very successful one, given the nature of our news media), not a cause. Anyone can engage in it, and to say that we are at war with terror is to misidentify the enemy, in a profound and counterproductive way.
The problem of this misnaming of the war manifests itself in many ways. It allows opponents of the liberation of Iraq to claim that it had nothing to do with the war, because somehow "terrorist" has been rendered synonymous with Al Qaeda and bin Laden, and as we all know (at least those of us fundamentally and perhaps willfully ignorant of the actual history), Al Qaeda would have nothing to do with Saddam, and vice versa. By focusing exclusively on the "terrorists" that are Al Qaeda, it obscures the much larger enemy. And it allows the "authorities" to absurdly claim that the Pakistani who just went on the shooting spree in Seattle isn't a "terrorist," because he didn't bring along his Al Qaeda membership card and decoder ring.
As was the case with the first three world wars, we are at war not with terror or any other particular tactic, but with an idea, or rather, a large set of ideas, most or all of which are inimical to our culture, and to the civilization that is an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. There is no win-win outcome to this war. There are, in the words of divorce courts, irreconcilable differences between the West and the Jihadis. There is, ultimately, not room enough on this planet for both ideologies, because theirs demands submission of all to it.
And despite their sectarian differences, it is an idea shared by Al Qaeda, by Hezbollah, by Hamas, by the Taliban, and by (unfortunately) vast swaths of people across the Middle East and Asia. It is not a new idea--this is just the most recent flareup of a war that has been going on for over a millennium. All that is new is that technologies have evolved, and our culture softened and grown unconfident in the value of our own ideas, in a way that gives them hope that finally, victory may be at hand.
Israelis, even the Israeli left, now finally understand that "land for peace" was a chimera, a hopeless endeavor, because their enemy doesn't want land, or peace. They are like the alien in Independence Day who, when asked what it wanted of us, hissed, "I want you to die."
Our culture is an offense to them, our material success is an offense (and rebuke) to them (because infidels have no right to be successful), our very existence, and particularly the existence of Jews in what they consider their own holy land, is an intolerable ongoing offense to them, made more offensive by the fact that this lowest form of life has made the desert bloom in a way that they never could.
It is all one war, and it's not a war against "terror." It is a world war largely of the Anglosphere (and some of its new allies, such as Poland and eastern Europe, and Israel--an honorary member) against fundamentalist Islamism. It is a war in which much of Europe has been cowed into sitting on the sidelines, by the enemy within. Russia and China are torn, partly for purely mercenary reasons, because our enemy is hungry for their arms and has abundant resources with which to purchase them, and partly due to their desire to see the Anglosphere and particularly its lead nation, the "hyperpower," brought low. But Chechnya and the Uigers in western China demonstrate that they will only be able to feed others to the alligator for so long, before they become the next meal.
We are at war with an idea, and it's an idea shared by the man up in Seattle. Part of that idea is that Israel shouldn't exist, and that it's intolerable when it does anything to defend itself and ensure its future existence. That part at least of the idea was clearly shared by the shooter in Seattle, by his own words. He may not (or he may) be a member of Al Qaeda, but we are not at war exclusively with Al Qaeda, which is just one front, one manifestation of the much larger enemy. We battle over a divide of ideologies, and there are many on the other side of that divide, some of whom, sadly, live among us. And they can unfortunately constitute a fifth column. He walked among us, in normal garb, but when he felt his time come, he picked up arms and made war against the nation that had welcomed him, and not against our military, but against helpless women.
The authorities don't want to call him a terrorist. Fine.
Let us, then, call him what he is. He is the enemy. He is a foreign operative on our soil, a spy, a combatant out of uniform, and there is no need for a civil trial. The laws of war allow him to be summarily shot. And if that were to happen, it would, finally, be a welcome recognition of the true nature of this war.
[Late Saturday morning update]
Hugh Hewitt has some related thoughts.
[Early afternoon update]
Steve Sailer says: "Anti-Semitic terrorism ... another job Americans just won't do!"
[Sunday morning update]
In honor of the occasion, Mark Steyn reprises an article from the LAX 4th of July shooting a couple years ago: "Fancy that, another free-lance Jihadi."Posted by Rand Simberg at July 29, 2006 09:16 AM
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Bush To Repeat Mistakes of the Past?
Excerpt: The article is telling, for given today’s circumstances and the reinvigoration of Hizbullah during the iterim years between the cease-fire agreements, complete with more deadly weaponry provided by Syria and Iran, better training, and plenty of t...
Weblog: Lump on a Blog
Tracked: July 29, 2006 02:40 PM
Rand Simberg: A Rectification Of Names
Excerpt: So, up in Seattle, a Muslim goes Jew hunting, killing one and wounding several others, all of them women, one of them pregnant (he almost got a twofer, there). Once again, we're assured by the authorities that there's no reason
Weblog: Old War Dogs
Tracked: July 29, 2006 05:01 PM
Rand Simberg: A Rectification Of Names
Excerpt: So, up in Seattle, a Muslim goes Jew hunting, killing one and wounding several others, all of them women, one of them pregnant (he almost got a twofer, there). Once again, we're assured by the authorities that there's no reason
Weblog: Old War Dogs
Tracked: July 29, 2006 05:03 PM
Naming the war properly
Excerpt: I've said a hundred -- no, a thousand -- times that "War on Terror" is a stupid name and a terrible mistake. Terror isn't an enemy, it's a tactic, and it's critical that we properly identify the enemy. Rand Simberg did as good a job of explicating...
Tracked: August 1, 2006 10:54 PM
<sarcasm>The fact that the guy is Muslim means nothing, because there are various factions of Muslims, and many of them have nothing against the US, if only we weren't following our Zionist leaders (but I digress). He's just a lone madman, who was confused. You shouldn't take into account what the Hezbollah leader said about "Open War", the whole world being a warzone, or that Jews will not be safe any where in the world. This guy is in America, and so he is completely disconnected from the war. He's just mentally unstable. Fortunately, there is hope after the Andrea Yates retrial that jurors will start understanding and respecting the sad nature of mental illness.</sarcasm>Posted by Leland at July 29, 2006 11:03 AM
...many of them have nothing against the US, if only we weren't following our Zionist leaders (but I digress).
Ignoring the delusionary nature of the notion that we are "following our Zionist leaders," I didn't claim that we were at war with Islam itself, or all Muslims.
This guy is in America, and so he is completely disconnected from the war. He's just mentally unstable.
My point is that he is not disconnected from the war, if the war is against people who are willing to deliberately kill innocents because they are unhappy about Israel (and Israel is just one front of the war).
As for his mental health, at some point, it doesn't matter. Is strapping a bomb to yourself and disassembling yourself in a pizza parlor an act of a mentally healthy person? Dangerous people are dangerous people. And even taking away this example, my larger point, that we're not at war with "terror," or "Al Qaeda," stands. This is a war of ideology, just as the wars against Nazism and Japanese imperialism, and against Soviet Communism, were. It's very clear, mental confusion and condition aside, where his sympathies lie.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 29, 2006 11:16 AM
The fact that the guy is Muslim means nothing ...
And yet is it not curious how few of the shooters and bombers of the world are Bhuddists or Ba'hais.
As for the "mental illness" thing, I've little doubt any number of entries in the DSM IV probably fit this character. By the standards of modern psychiatry, nearly everyone is "mentally ill" in some way.
I will note, however, my cynical amusement at Leland's deployment of imputed mental dysfunction on the part of a person who has clearly and unambiguously acted in a violent way as a defense of such actual violence. This stands in marked contrast to the usual approach of those given to attempted medicalization of political differences, namely the incessant leftist cant about "authoritarian personality disorder" and such as bases of condemnation of those whose politics they find uncongenial.
But that's the key, isn't it? Leland and his like don't find the politics of our friendly neighborhood Paki assassin the least bit uncongenial. Republicans - or even just those who agree with them on certain matters - are, in this view, worse than actual killers. At least they are so long as said killers agree with the progressive point of view about Israel and George W. Bush.
Always instructive to see where - and on what - people stand.Posted by Dick Eagleson at July 29, 2006 12:33 PM
Leland and Rand,
Perhaps both of you are correct in that religious fundamentalism itself is a form of mental illness. There was an excellent article on betterhumans.com about this over a year ago.
The liberals want to treat islamic terrorism as a law and order issue and the conservatives want to treat it as a "war of ideologies" issue. I think treating religous-inspired terrorism as a medical issue would be much more productive and I actually thought this a couple of days rights after 9/11.
As I mentioned previously, I believe that there are specific neurochemical and structural characteristics that corellate with "strong" religous beliefs and anti-social behavior. I also believe that there is a genetic basis for this that can lead to either effective "therapy" based on genetic or nano-therapy, or the creation of a genetic designer vector that would remediate the affected persons. I think that the science underlining this is currently being discovered/developed and that effective therapies could be developed within 10 years.
Both of these approaches would be far, far cheaper than the $500 billion (so far) sunk into an worthless adventure in Iraq. Perhaps the Iraq war and our interventionist foreign policy is needed to "tie things over" until we develop these technologies to really solve the problems. However, this seems a lot of treasure to "tie things over" for a 10 year period, especially considering that the Bush administration does not seem interested in a biotechnological solution to the problem of religous fanaticism and anti-social behavior in general.
I agree with Gregory Cockran, George Bush and his adminstration are lost in space on this one.
It should be obvious to everyone that future developments in politics and society will be based more on developments in neurobiology than in anything else. The Bushies need to get with the program.Posted by Kurt at July 29, 2006 01:15 PM
If it dresses like an Radical Islamofascist terrorist,
and it carries guns like an Radical Islamofascist terrorist,
and it shoots Jews like a Radical Islamofascist terrorist,
it's actually a lone gunmen acting out his frustrations over his view of the multi-cultural violations of his native land, people and religion by the western imperialistic powers lead by George Bush, Dick Cheney and Halliburton all over oil.
or he IS a terrorist, it WAS a terrorist act, and he should be tried quickly and hung or shot as an enemy of our country!! Especially if ANY of the victims is a U.S. citizen.
I'll take the execution behind Door Number 2 Monty!!Posted by Steve at July 29, 2006 01:20 PM
I think that the science underlining this is currently being discovered/developed and that effective therapies could be developed within 10 years.
Both of these approaches would be far, far cheaper than the $500 billion (so far) sunk into an worthless adventure in Iraq.
You want us to get the fundamentalists on the couch? Fine. Note that they are armed and likely to oppose your good intentions.
You develop a therapy, great. How do you _apply_ it?Posted by Brian at July 29, 2006 01:23 PM
I think Leland was being sarcastic.
But you said: "It is a world war ... against fundamentalist Islamism."
Why the modifiers? Tell me how the problem is not Islam, period, full stop. 1400 years of war against the West. Virtually all wars worldwide involve Muslim insurgents. European politicians aren't cowering and appeasing only a portion of their Muslims, they're afraid of all of them. If a drug had a 1% probability of causing death or insanity it would be banned immediately, especially if it had no demonstrable benefits and there were safer alternatives. So from the polls indicating the % of Muslims in Western countries willing to blow themselves up to kill their hosts, I think we have a strong case for pulling the product off the shelves. If Islam leads to Islamism and jihad just as surely as Socialism tends toward totalitarianism, then why not call a spade a spade and admit that the problem is Islam, not just some variety of Islam?Posted by lmg at July 29, 2006 01:37 PM
Because it has been proven that *some* Muslims can live quite happily in peace with other people.
Therefore, we are attempting to win them over and convince them to fight the rot within their own faith.
If we fail, the ultimate alternative is to kill a billion people, most of them innocent of any actual crimes against us. I don't want to go there while there is still hope of isolating and defeating the haram.
It really pisses me off how right you are Rand. How's that for a reaction? Good post.Posted by ken anthony at July 29, 2006 02:33 PM
You ALL digress;
Expect this kind of terrorism and murder to increase in states without Death Penalties.
It could abate if the Federal Govt. would have the U.S. Attorney's office Charge him with a FEDERAL CRIME,
This law abiding Pakistahni MUSLIM had a LARGE Caliber Semi-automatic HANDGUN.
Which is LEGAL. Too Bad the Women weren't packing HEAT in the Building and someone hit the panic button when the perp forced his way in.
HE might be the one who was dead instead.Posted by Econ-Scott at July 29, 2006 02:37 PM
Once again, we're assured by the authorities that there's no reason to think that this is terrorism.
By focusing exclusively on the "terrorists" that are Al Qaeda, it obscures the much larger enemy.
One of the problems that I constantly run into is that people who have never had a job in law enforcement insist that they know all about the profession. After all, didn't they watch Adam-12 when they were kids?
"Terrorist" is a technical term in law enforcement circles. It means someone who receives support from a network. "Terrorism" is an act to advance that groups aims in some way.
So what happens if we have some muttering loner who decides, all on his own, to kill innocent people? No support, no network, no grand goals that his terrible act is supposed to bring a little closer?
Another problem that I have with laymen is that they just can't seem to grasp the fact that what a crime is labelled determines the course of the investigation. It would be negligent for the authorities to refrain from looking for the support network if it was, indeed, an act of terrorism. No support network, no need to waste limited law enforcement resources looking for one, which means this isn't an act of terrorism.
I'm not too happy with the news that mosques are being selected for increased attention because it seems to me to be nothing more than a irresponsible PR ploy to prove how PC the mayor is. On the other hand, it would be irresponsible to call this crime an act of terrorism.
JamesPosted by James R. Rummel at July 29, 2006 02:41 PM
Thanks, Rand, for a straightforward statement of the problem.
We (the US as the lead nation of the Anglosphere) are at war with Islamofascism, and unfortunately, too many of our countrymen are hiding under the bed with their eyes shut tight.
Just as in WWII a sizeable portion of the country preferred to be isolationist, or idealistically thought talking and appeasement would work, we will sadly have to undergo a great deal of pain before we as a nation wake up and become united in our resolve.Posted by at July 29, 2006 02:41 PM
"In fact, the police are now reportedly guarding the local mosques against "retaliation," . . ."
Well, they're guarding synagogues as well.
Just call me devil's advocate ...Posted by Knemon at July 29, 2006 02:56 PM
I think you had a typo, "The Bushies need to get with the program". The context seems to indicate that you meant "The Bushies need to get with the pogrom".
Posted by Joel Mackey at July 29, 2006 03:01 PM
I think you're wrong in your conclusion. First, we have to extract the intelligence from the guy. Learn what mosc he visited, who are his contacts, and so on. There are ways to do it even with hardest of nuts. So, do the due dilligence. We ought to eliminate him only when he has no more value. Russians made this mistake tens of thousands of times in WWII before they saw the light. There was even a public slogan: "Destroy Nazi Spies and Diversants!" But it's completely retarded to waste a useful humint element, if only potential.
-- PPosted by P at July 29, 2006 03:11 PM
"a biotechnological solution to . . . anti-social behavior in general."
Sounds ghastly.Posted by Knemon at July 29, 2006 03:12 PM
OK, perhaps religious fundamentalism is a biochemically-rooted mental instability, which presumably would show up evenly across human populations . So explain again about all those Baha'i and Jain and Quaker suicide bombers...
Especially since most Jains and Baha'i are from the same populations that produce a large number off jihadis.Posted by Jim Bennett at July 29, 2006 03:20 PM
Mr. Rummel, I can appreciate that the way terms are used in law inforcement and the way the public at large uses certain terms can be frustrating. Your focus is different than that we are discussing. It is precisely the fact that law enforcement must treat these crimes in such a manner that is the problem. The terminology doesn't acknowledge the actual nature of attacks by individual players in a global war. This crime wasn't a "hate" crime (which designations I abhor, by the way). Even calling it that opens a constitutional can of worms. It grants a legal status that an enemy combatant ought not enjoy, and ignores the fact that there are traitors among us who will do us harm.
Congress needs to address this problem before they finally face the backlash they so fear. When the government displays such utter contempt, and distrust, of their citizens that they are afraid to call a spad a spade, it practically guarantees a blacklash at some point.Posted by saltydog at July 29, 2006 03:25 PM
You guys sure you've read Leland correctly? I think his guilt is in attempting witty sarcasm.Posted by D Anghelone at July 29, 2006 03:34 PM
They are like the alien in Independence Day who, when asked what it wanted of us, hissed, "I want you to die."
I was thinking exactly this just the other day! There is nothing Israel can do to make the rockets stop. The offense is who they are, not what they do.Posted by Lugo at July 29, 2006 03:52 PM
Dear Rand Simberg:
My compliments on a very pertinent posting. What can be done? It seems to me that it is not something to attribute to the Bush administration alone. This administration administers the State Department, the FBI, and so on in name only, IMHO. It holds no sway over local and state law enforcement. The MSM and the educational elements, from K to Grad School, are a virtual fifth column or a suicide pact. I would love to hear some thoughts on how it might be possible to mobilize the part of our population and the electorate who think as you seem to, to see the situation as you seem to see it. We must do more than point out the idiocy of our present thinking and the insanity of belonging to the UN. Can we develop a plan of action to put the nation and hopefully the rest of the endangered world on track again?Posted by CRay at July 29, 2006 04:12 PM
This isn't Bush's rhetoric, it's the Ivory Tower's rhetoric indoctrinated in the body politic over these past fourty decades. People who speak or think 'offensive' words and thoughts are forced to attend sensitivity training classes fercryingoutloud!
The US State Department hasn't been very helpful either.Posted by syn at July 29, 2006 05:10 PM
Sorry that's "four decades" If it were fourty years of speech coding there wouldn't be an America.Posted by syn at July 29, 2006 05:12 PM
Excellent posting. As an Englishman who moved here to the States to escape the Islamification of my country, I have to agree 100% on your comments about the seattle shooter being an enemy combatant. This is the phrase we should now use about the islamists in our midst because the MSM won't even use the word "terrorist" anymore. After muslims murdered 53 Britons last year the BBC refered to the killers as "misguided criminals" !We then discovered , according to an opinion poll, that just under 10% of the 2 Million muslims living in the UK had sympathy with the killers' actions. 200,000 more "misguided criminals" or the largest Fifth Column in the UK's history? I pray that the US public don't have their heads buried in the sand to the same degree that my countrymen do.Posted by David Logan at July 29, 2006 05:25 PM
YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!THE IDIOT LIBERALS ARE GOING
I have to agree with Rummel on this. Police forces are the enforcement arm of the judiciary, and you can bet the shooter's lawyers are going to be examining every word in every public statement the cops make, looking for something that will let them shout, "AHA! This cop tried to use the word 'terrorism' in reference to my client, when the legal definition of terrorism requires the client have support from an international terrorist group, therefore the case was unfairly prejudiced and I can get the jury to reduce the charges."
We can complain how stupid it is, but I feel sorry for the cops caught in the crossfire between legal language and plain English.
What we really need in to get Morris Dees off his butt and get him to start suing mosques for incitement to murder. It stopped the KKK, and it can stop the international jihad.
This essay came so close to capturing my views that I think either Rand or myself is redundant. Probably me. I disagree only with the suggestion that the war began in 1979 -- the first shot was fired on June 5, 1968, which is why Democrats should be in the lead in the war to contain Islamofascism.Posted by Jay Manifold at July 29, 2006 07:11 PM
Posted by Brian Swiderski at July 29, 2006 07:11 PM
Brian, can you really not tell the difference between deliberate targeting of noncombatants and accidental killings in wartime -- or tell that there is no difference between the treatment the terrorist in Seattle will receive and the treatment American soldiers accused of murdering civilians in Iraq will receive? (That would be due process, in both cases.) There is no other foot for the shoe to be on.Posted by Jay Manifold at July 29, 2006 07:16 PM
"Israelis, even the Israeli left, now finally understand that "land for peace" was a chimera, a hopeless endeavor, because their enemy doesn't want land, or peace."
This seems to have been learned relatively recently by the Israeli left. I've wondered lately if the Gaza pullout was done simply to prove to the left that the Pals did not want peace, only the destruction of Israel. Now Israel seems much more united, so even if the pullout was bad from military perspective, it might still have been good policy.Posted by Mark at July 29, 2006 07:23 PM
That is ridiculous. Instead of trying to understand the political goals of the various governments and groups in the Middle East (and the very real political conflicts among them), you lump them all together into an artificial entity called "Islamofascists" and then justify killing them by dehumanizing them and pretending they are irrational bloodthirsty killing machines whose only goal in life is to see you dead.
This post is warmongering propaganda by someone with absolutely no understanding of the Muslim world and seemingly no desire to understand whats going on. It is also incredible overreaction. The United States and Israel are bringing the might of two of the world's most powerful and advanced militaries against poor and backward Arab countries, starting wars that kill thousands upon thousands of defenseless civilians, battling ragtag groups of guerillas and terrorists, many of whom hate each other as much as they hate us, and you are trying to convince us that we are in a global struggle for the future of our civilization against the greatest threat since Nazi Germany. It's ridiculous.
You seem desperate for a war, for a noble cause, a grand clash of ideologies. You make everything black and white because its easy.Posted by bbqwings at July 29, 2006 07:46 PM
Terrorism := "The act of criminal violence against
"When Bin Laden drives a 757 in the WTC in protest of
When the Israeli's shoot it out with a Hezbullah fighter it's warfare. When the Israeli's bomb a civilian neighborhood, it's terrorism"
Well, this takes the cake for the stupidest comment in this thread so far (or at least the one that's trivial to respond to in a short amount of time). The only reason that Israel ever bombs a civilian neighborhood is not "for the purpose of engendering fear with the end result of seeking a political goal." It is because Hezbollah has made a deliberate choice to put military resources in that neighborhood, in violation of the Geneva Conventions.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 29, 2006 08:32 PM
We had 19 middle class Arab men commandeer 4 airplanes and fly 2 of them into the World Trade Center in NYC and 1 into the Pentagon In Washington D.C. The 4th plane crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers tried to take the plane back.
We invaded Afghanistan because that is where the leader of those 19 men was hiding.
We invaded Iraq because the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, had defied the U.N. sanctions placed on him for 12 years. He also paid well, the families of homocide bombers after their sons and daughters
The leaders of many of the radical Islamic groups have declared war on us. Mostly they want to kill us because we don't face east to pray, and we allow Pamela Anderson and McDonalds to exist. They dislike our TV shows, our books, our clothes and the fact that we let or wives walk around with their faces hanging out.
It ain't about oil, it ain't about Saddam threatening the first President Bush and Halliburton does not have a secret offshore account for the present President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.
With that information in hand do you still think WE are the ones who started this?Posted by Steve at July 29, 2006 08:45 PM
"ragtag groups of guerillas and terrorists"
Brave, plucky, indefatigable ... yeah yeah, we know.Posted by Knemon at July 29, 2006 09:34 PM
Because it has been proven that *some* Muslims can live quite happily in peace with other people.Really? Please name them. Then, tell me which ones wouldn't put us under the yoke of Sharia, if they could. After all, it's their religious duty.The problem is the "peaceful" muslims, like Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are so only because the infidels can kick their butt, not because they object in principle to terrorizing and conquering infidels. In the US one of the primary Islamic recruiting grounds is the black male prison population, preying on and reinforcing their resentment of incarceration and whites in general. I'm sure they'll want peaceful relations with the authorities once they get out of prison. Posted by Bob Smith at July 29, 2006 10:12 PM
I like how bbqwings reads Rand's essay, and immediately applies to it the Left's favorite canard -- if you call for war with someone, you must first "dehumanize" them. It's part of that stupid "progressive" conceit born in this century that war itself is some kind of collective mental illness, with the primary symptom consisting of seeing one's enemy in simple, subhuman terms.
Rand has a pretty thorough understanding of jihadist politics. There is nothing simplistic about viewing Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Seattle Shooter as being parts of a larger movement. Not all the parts have to be mutually compatible and agree with each other -- certainly the "progressive" movement has had its share of disagreements, often violent ones. From our point of view, the differences between jihadist ideologies are unimportant, nor in the end their motivations: their intent is still to cause us harm, kill us if necessary, and impose their own warped philosophy on us. I want them stopped, regardless of the differences between them.
Nor is there anything "dehumanizing" in seeing them as bloodthirsty killers. Being a bloodthirsty killer is often part of being human. Following bad philosophy at any cost is part of being human. Being willing to kill people in large numbers for the crime of disagreeing with you, is part of being human. Our enemies are fully human, doing something that human beings have done over the course of our entire history -- trying to subjugate or kill other human beings who don't share their worldview. Being one of the latter, I'd prefer that they didn't succeed, and I see nothing wrong with killing them to make sure it doesn't happen.
I understand that they are people; that their motivations are complex; that there is some internal logic to what they are trying to accomplish; that they see themselves as good and noble; that they have parents, siblings, spouses, and children; in short, that they are fully-developed, breathing, thinking, feeling people. But that doesn't mean I want to share the earth with them. They've made it plain through word and deed that they consider me an enemy and don't value my life, and I have no problem saying that I likewise won't miss them when they are dead. Plenty of decent human beings on this earth aren't out to bomb me, so while these people's wives and children may miss them when they are dead, I will not.Posted by E. Nough at July 29, 2006 10:18 PM
Instead of trying to understand the political goals of the various governments and groups in the Middle East (and the very real political conflicts among them), you lump them all together into an artificial entity called "Islamofascists" and then justify killing them by dehumanizing them and pretending they are irrational bloodthirsty killing machines whose only goal in life is to see you dead.Since every Islamic group in the Middle East are in agreement what we should be dhimmified, forcibly converted, or dead, just what do their disagreements with each other have to do with anything? Posted by Bob Smith at July 29, 2006 10:19 PM
The essential point, however, is not the extreme injustice of the military's court martial system, but the hideous hypocrisy and transparently inhuman bloodlust of those who find some kind of enjoyment talking about their homicidal fantasies as "necessary" adjuncts of the "global war on terror." The nightmarish moral freefall of the last five years has brought all the kill-crazy death-monkeys out of the woodwork, and sane people need to speak louder before these Satanic birdbrains turn the world into a snuff film for their own sick amusement.
Is there any way to translate this gibberish into something that sane people, familiar with English, could understand, in a way that corresponds to reality?
Sadly, I suspect not.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 29, 2006 10:19 PM
The best I can do with it is that either you're a good "progressive" who faints at the mere thought of visiting violence on your enemies (even the use of the word enemy is a sign of a barbarian outlook), or else you are a bloodthirsty warmonger who just likes to see people die because it's what makes you happy.
The normal viewpoint through the ages -- that killing is not something to be enjoyed, but sometimes necessary, worthwhile, and beneficial -- has been banned from such a mindset. Well, unless you are "poor," "dispossessed," or "humiliated," -- and as nonwestern as possible -- at which point you really have no choice, and killing indiscriminantly is just an uncontrollable reflex for which you are not responsible.
And these "thinkers" accuse others of dehumanizing.Posted by E. Nough at July 29, 2006 11:06 PM
"Is there any way to translate this gibberish into something that sane people, familiar with English, could understand, in a way that corresponds to reality?"
No matter how I explained it, you'd simply redefine terms until good is evil, up is down, American is anti-American, slavery is freedom, and other variations on Newspeak. If we had listened to this kind of "global war" insanity in WW2, and decided we were at war with the idea of fascism rather than Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan specifically, we'd have had to invade the entire continent of South America, Spain, Portugal, much of continental Asia and Africa, probably killed a billion people, and almost certainly wouldn't have defeated Hitler or Hirohito. We'd have been using the same resources to fight a nebulous, ideology-based war a dozen times larger rather than just defend against aggressors as the Constitution, common sense, and basic human decency demand. But since certain people are bent on this schizophrenic charnel house fantasy of a "global war on terror," and want to reinterpret all of history and reality through the lens of that delusion, we find ourselves daily confronted by absurdities like your comments. America is not a war-zone, and trying to redefine the word war to suit your Orwellian purpose doesn't change the facts or make the rule of law optional. Ergo, the man in question will receive a fair trial in a court of law, as he should, and it's shameful that you have a problem with that.Posted by Brian Swiderski at July 30, 2006 12:46 AM
You all are thinking of networks, and command structure and the old way of thinking, during the Cold War, Soviet-Sponsored, State-Sponsored terrorism days.
Think instead of distributed autonomous architecture. Seed the ground, and watch the cells and individuals spring up unbidden, doing the work, because not only is the enemy an "idea", the "idea" is in charge!Posted by Abu Robert at July 30, 2006 02:31 AM
You all are thinking of networks, and command structure and the old way of thinking, during the Cold War, Soviet-Sponsored, State-Sponsored terrorism days.
Think instead of distributed autonomous architecture. Seed the ground, and watch the cells and individuals spring up unbidden, doing the work, because not only is the enemy an "idea", the "idea" is in charge!
Also, let's see----can you count the apologists?
"It's mental illness, and thus to be excused."
They're just Jews, they were expendable?
As you go through life apologizing for being a victim, people like me will only have one regret.....we can only kill one terrorist at a time!Posted by Abu Robert at July 30, 2006 02:33 AM
I guess people like Mr. Swiderski have rather narrow definitions of what a war is. U.S. embassies have been blown up, planes have been exploded, the Manhattan skyline is missing two skyscrapers -- but apparently that's not enough evidence that we're at war.
Rand didn't call the U.S. a war zone -- he called the enemy's operatives saboteurs, who operate on our territory. Germany had those too, in WW2, and we didn't take them to court or worry about what made them hate us. We killed them, and good riddance at that.
And the U.S. didn't go to war with "fascism" in WW2 because the fascist movement didn't attack the U.S. -- the Empire of Japan did. Germany was its ally, and we went to war with them too -- even though Germany did not attack the U.S., either. And come to think of it, neither had Italy, but the U.S. saw fit to destroy and occupy all three countries, with (one might add) civilian casualties so high they make the progressives' current bugaboos of Iraq or Israel/Lebanon look like a rounding error.
Since at least the 1970s, both the U.S. and Israel have been fighting the same enemy -- militant Islam, or jihadism, or whatever you want to call it. This enemy is conducts its operations globally, though its highest concentrations are in the Arab Middle East. They don't have very impressive capabilities (for now), but whatever they do have, they use globally as well, as unfortunate people in Spain, England, Turkey, Argentina, and Nigeria have found out the hard way. Therefore, they have to be fought globally, so the term "global war" is both reasonable and fitting, Mr. Swiderski's pious sanctimony notwithstanding.Posted by E. Nough at July 30, 2006 04:12 AM
I'm inclined to agree with you.
Now how do you make sure that people take their meds?Posted by M. Simon at July 30, 2006 04:15 AM
So how do you investigate to find out if it is terrorism? Without using that word.Posted by M. Simon at July 30, 2006 04:22 AM
Rand... I placed sarcasm marks around my statement, but I guess your program treated them as HTML tags, and then dropped them as improper. Anyway, my whole comment was meant as sarcasm.Posted by Leland at July 30, 2006 06:11 AM
"Land for Peace"
I have to tell you I never took that seriously as a slogan. I always thought of it as "Trading Land for Less Ignorable Moral Clarity Towards Doing Whatever They Need To To Secure Israel Proper".
Hey, that lasted about 72 hours.
Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfppPosted by Tom Perkins at July 30, 2006 06:29 AM
"Because it has been proven that *some* Muslims can live quite happily in peace with other people."
And would that be 1% or 2% of the Muslims worldwide?
"Living happily in peace" to me implies they instantly and without hesitation inform on the rest of the Moslems in the world when they get a jihadist itch. You can see why I think the percentage is small.
Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfppPosted by at July 30, 2006 06:37 AM
Being serious here:
I agree with Hewitt that writing this off as mental illness is absurd. I'll use my comment on Andrea Yates as an example... she is considered mentally ill because her behaviour is so rare and disconnected from our society, especially Christianity as her rational for murdering the chilrden was based on saving them from Hell, that we see it as an insane situation. If not obvious, I'll accept Yates defense (and latest verdict), but only because again, it is rare.
However, what if Christians routinely drowned children? Say hypothetically, the Christian belief was that some children needed to be "fully baptised", such as children born out of wedlock... Would society consider Christianity as merely insane? To cut to the chase, if Muslims continue to teach their children that the path to salvation can be achieved through murder, should we simply call those Muslims insane?
I don't care if this guy is called a terrorist or not. As Professors Reynolds and Volokh discuss, why have modifiers for such crimes. The guy is a murderer, and the rational for the crime is only motive. However, I support understanding and classifying this motive. I think there is correlation between this guys actions and a rather obvious war that is currently raging. I think there is a correlation from a warlords desire to make the world a battle zone and this guys actions. I think with all this in mind, we should consider this act as more than just coincidence. I think this not because I want this particular guy guilty of a federal crime of terrorism, but because I want law enforcement to recognize a pattern of crime that is likely to occur again and then work to prevent that crime.
I do not advocate profiling of all Muslims. However, if any Muslim tells his pals he is going to the local Zionist Indoctrination Center in the name of Allah; I hope someone would think this is a bad idea.Posted by Leland at July 30, 2006 06:55 AM
I'm actually going to defend Brian on this one. I think the risks he's pointing out are real ones, and disagree mostly on their magnitude, not their existence.
I've fixed your sarcasm tags, Leland.Posted by Rand Simberg at July 30, 2006 08:43 AM
Jay, I take your points under advisement. And I hope I didn't come across as supporting the idea that the Pakistani shooter doesn't deserve a trial -- he does, followed by a conviction, followed by whatever method will dispatch him to his 72 celestial virgins.
That said, Mr. Swiderski seems to be making not so much a point, as an attempt to display for all of us his moral outrage, as evidence of some moral superiority as perceived by him. Frankly, I think any argument against Rand's claim that this "lone gunman" is not a criminal but an enemy saboteur could be made without the fainting display Swiderski put on for us.
I certainly agree with your point number 2. Although frankly, I think we'll have to get past our aversion to thinking of this as a war, not to mention some people's fear of getting our hands bloody by fighting and killing the enemy, before we start talking about tactics.
Finally, as to number 4. What does using one's real name have anything to do with the argument at hand? Considering where I live, travel, where I work and with whom, and the universal snooping of Google, I'm not particularly keen on having my real name attached to every opinion I post. Not because I don't stand behind them, but because in some places, they might get me hurt -- or worse. I don't claim any unique expertise or authority in the matters I discuss. And frankly, I've used the same pseudonym for several years now, and as much as one can have a reputation in the blogosphere, I believe I do. So why the cheap shot? Would you be happier if I came up with a fake-but-plausible sounding name, and used that instead?Posted by E. Nough at July 30, 2006 08:52 AM
Brian, here's a hint, throw out the Thesaurus and use words from outside the Faculty Club, or campus coffee shop. We all understand English here; more is not less, to co-opt your 1984 references.
Beside that, read what I wrote, above, to bbqwings. We were attacked. Repeatedly. To the best of my knowledge we have never attacked a foreign nation that was peacefully going about life and not threatening us, or our allies. If I missed one such attack, lemme know. I'll never make that last comment again; I do use it quite often now.
I have met and worked with any number of men, and women, who follow Islam who are peaceful, loving, worthwhile citizens and citizens in training here in our country. I have never believed that ALL followers of Islam are cruel or murderous, any more than all Christains take up the serpent or eschew dancing, or alcohol. Broad statements are almost never factual.
Many of the commenters here are atheists, agnostics or have other levels of belief in God or Christianity. At the same time many of you are well versed in the Bible and the Koran and the Torah, and know my next statement to be accurate.
There are passages in any religious book or teaching that can be used to show that the followers are barbaric, murdering, misogynistic and war like.
An eye for an eye, stoning, shunning, killing in the name of God. They cut through almost all religious teaching. But the other side is also there, peace, brotherhood, love, charity, kindness.
The MINORITY of people stirred up by religious fanatics is at our door. Even if there are peaceful people among that throng of Islamic followers, they are afraid to stand out and say they stand out and disagree. They know it targets them, and their families for death and worse.
Many things have been done for the last 5000 years of recorded religious history in the Middle East. We may or may not be able to stop this current wave of war before we are over run. But the continual cries of the American Left, Liberals of the world and most United Nations members, about the United States of America, it's policies and it's PEOPLE being the cause of this war, strife, murderous campaign for oil is the biggest bunch of crap I've ever heard.
It's not just my opinion, it's historical fact.
If I'm wrong show me, dates, times, places, religious affiliations and / or intent, show me. I, and many others I expect, would gladly join the side of fact and truth. I do not believe the U.S. is to blame, but I'll listen to F_A_C_T_S, if you have them. Pretend I'm from Missouri.Posted by Steve at July 30, 2006 09:09 AM
Brian says: If we had listened to this kind of "global war" insanity in WW2, and decided we were at war with the idea of fascism rather than Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan specifically...
It is a well documented fact that Japan attacked us for numerous reasons, none of which were related to hating us because of who we are. I believe the main reason was oil...figure the odds. But, they attacked us and we smited them in return.
The combatants in the Middle East attacked us for numerous reasons too, but this includes outright hating us for who we are. Its really not important anymore because they attacked us and so we shall smite them. This isn't a country we're fighting, its an amorphous group of people that want power over others and use religion to their advantage. But still, they attacked us and we shall smite them.
Some of our soldiers do things wrong and they are investigated and if warrated, punished. For you though, and others like you, it is impossible to think that some of our troops may be innocent of charges levied against them. You think that we are the evil ones first and should be punished severely. However, when the combatants blow up a marketplace TARGETING civilians they're just misunderstood, not evil. Its a shame that you see America as such an evil entity. You accuse everyone in support of the war as being blind to everything and a host of other things, but sadly, it appears that your own short-sightedness is blinding you to the recent past where we have been attacked on several occasions where AMERICANS have died. Oh, but the attackers are just misunderstood and our boats, buildings, and people are not that important anyway. How many more AMERICANS have to die before you can see that we are not the evil ones?Posted by Mac at July 30, 2006 02:01 PM
I did not intend my remark about pseudonyms to be a cheap shot. I understand that some people are afraid to use their real names. I've just never been afraid to use mine. Rand isn't either, nor are any number of other prominent bloggers and commentators. I know of no instance in which any of them has ever decided that they need to become pseudonymous in order to continue blogging or commenting. I know of many instances, however, of drive-by commenting by anonymous cretins. The overwhelming impression is that the use of one's real name is strongly correlated with supportable opinions, and I'd guess it's strongly correlated with things like having a real job, too.Posted by Jay Manifold at July 30, 2006 05:17 PM
Jay, I'm glad your circumstances permit you to post under your real name; not everyone's do. Mine do not. I'd rather use a pseudonym and express myself honestly, than not.
Whether you meant it to be a cheap shot or not, that's what your comment was. More accurately, it was pretty classic ad-hominem: not about what someone says, but who they are. If I say something you disagree with, then by all means dispute it. Don't muddle the conversation with that "real name" shtick -- quite frankly, none of us is able to ascertain who you really are, anyway. For all we know (and no, I don't think this), you may have picked your name from a phone book. Why should that matter?Posted by E. Nough at July 30, 2006 06:04 PM
quote from bbqwings: "Instead of trying to understand the political goals of the various governments and groups in the Middle East (and the very real political conflicts among them), you lump them all together into an artificial entity called "Islamofascists"
Perhaps a grain of your own salt should be on order in this case. You see, "Islamofascism" is a tool utilized by governments and groups of the Middle East as an implement of population control. While the leaders of the Middle East hoarde their countries resources for themselves and do little to better the standard of living for their own people. They instead work to deflect all of those criticisms onto the Western powers. They call out to their people to completely devote themselves to the great struggle with the western kafirs under the cause of Jihad. It is truely sad that all of the poverty, unemployement, and oppression they experience at the hands of their own leaders instead is twisted into anti-western propaganda. We are accused of being blood drinkers born of pigs and apes who's only goal is to take over the world with our oppressive empire, consume all their resources with nothing in return, and wipe the word of Allah from history. All of those self loathing leftist out there so eager to blame ourselves for our sins against Mother Earth are playing right into the Middle East propoganda machine. Instead of trying to put this into scope where we really get to understand the depth of brainwashing and hatred imbred into these people. We instead are expected to not think of such negativity and hatred and instead self reflect on how much of a big bad bully we are. I am all for a measure of self reflection and paying up to one's own responsibilies. These people are to busy being kniving and irrational to bother to sit down and talk through this mess. They think they are are to small to be heard and use our own media to prove that actions speak louder then words. At no point should we give these monsters the impression that any of their actions are acceptable.Posted by Josh Reiter at July 30, 2006 08:03 PM
To Mac and his ilk:
I am an American soldier who joined on 9/11. I did my two tours and educated myself as to quench the nagging questions I had. So let me share with you some ideas posed as questions. Why are we there, to stop Saddam? OK he is done, why are we still there, to stabilize the region? What stability. Why are they the "terrorist" fighting us. They want their country a certain way, the faster we are out the sooner it will be the way they want it, As we kill it affords the terrorists the ability to kill us. Why do they want to kill us? Why is Israel in Palestine, do they own the land , was it theirs, why do they kill indescriminantly, hold woman and children in prison for years. When did Hezbollah and Alkehdia show up? How with all this killing are there more and more terrorist being "created", what is creating them? Why does "EVERY" nation having been stationed in Germany, Korea, and now Italy and touring Europe and Asia with my blood money; hate, loath, despise Israel. Having now read the Talmud and read 15 to 20 pro and con positions on Zionism, I have come to this conclusion. If we want to stop terrorism and kill all the terrorist we have got to stop Israel. Educate yourself, you can spit back witty little quips or educate your self, read: the Jewish Chronicle, London circa 1890 - 1940, Hazard Circular circa 1860-1870, read the History of Zionism Walter Laqueur, hell read the Talmud, the Torah, f@ck read anything and stop being a blind, coward and read. stop waiting for the rapture.
go cav...Posted by your cowards and morons at July 30, 2006 08:28 PM
Mr. E. Nough:
I agree with your point about the proper treatment of the shooter - with one exception. I think that we ought to take notice of his beliefs - and ensure that he will NOT go to his 72 houris, according to those beliefs.
Cremation on a fire of lard ought to do it.
Why? Simple. Pour encourager les autres.Posted by Fletcher Christian at July 31, 2006 01:52 AM
I like how Mr. Cowards and Morons claims to be an American who has served in the military, traveled the world, and read everything from the Jewish Chronicle to the Talmud, yet his writing gives him away as someone with a poor command of English, and obviously without the language skills to read much of anything not framed as a fatwa. I'm guessing just another jihadi apologist, trying to snooker us infidels.
An expert moby, he is not.
Oh, and to answer a few of the rhetorical questions: Israel is in "Palestine" for the same reason France is in Gaul, they do own the land, it is theirs, and if they killed "indiscriminantly" [sic], there wouldn't be any Arabs left to shriek "massacre!" every time a terrorist is turned into bloody soup.Posted by E. Nough at July 31, 2006 04:56 AM
Why I'm responding to this I don't really know, but here goes.
Your cowards and morons says: I am an American soldier who joined on 9/11. First off, using the nametag your denotes ownership, so you're claiming to be a coward and a moron. Educate yourself and learn how to write. If you are a soldier, congratulations and thank you for your service, it is appreciated.
YCAM says: Why are we there, to stop Saddam?
We were there to back up the UN charter that did nothing to enforce their own actions.
YCAM: OK he is done, why are we still there, to stabilize the region?
We are there to stabilize the region and give the people what they want and deserve, freedom. If you as a soldier can't understand the gift of freedom, you sadden me.
YCAM: Why are they the "terrorist" fighting us. They want their country a certain way, the faster we are out the sooner it will be the way they want it
The terrorists are fighting us because if we win and introduce a lasting democracy in the region, their power will dissolve and they will cease to matter. And the terrorists we are fighting are not from Iraq, they are mercenaries from other countries, paid for their services by Iran and Syria, so it is NOT their country. Again, educate yourself.
YCAM: Why is Israel in Palestine, do they own the land , was it theirs, why do they kill indescriminantly, hold woman and children in prison for years.
Israel gave up land to the Palestinians for the past ten years, including land they they (Israel) owned and had settled, all to appease the Palestinian demands. What did the Palestinians do? They wanted more. Israel is defending itself from a cancer that wants nothing more than violence. And as for Israel holding women and children for years in prison....I suppose shooting rockets at them is preferrable when military targets are untouched by Hezbollah? Educate yourself, you moron.
YCAM: How with all this killing are there more and more terrorist being "created", what is creating them?
Like I said, they are mercenaries bought and paid for by Iran and Syria.
YCAM: Why does "EVERY" nation having been stationed in Germany, Korea, and now Italy and touring Europe and Asia with my blood money; hate, loath, despise Israel.
Simple. Countries despise what they cannot obtain. COuntries despise the US too, because they want to be like us and can't fathom giving freedom to their own people.
YCAM: Having now read the Talmud and read 15 to 20 pro and con positions on Zionism
I'm glad you didn't try to spell them (Cheap shot, but worth it)
YCAM: If we want to stop terrorism and kill all the terrorist we have got to stop Israel.
We tried that. We told Israel when we went in to Iraq to sit down and shut up, we'd handle it. Israel did just that and the terrorists are still attcking them. Israel is not the problem.
YCAM: Educate yourself, you can spit back witty little quips or educate your self, read: the Jewish Chronicle, London circa 1890 - 1940, Hazard Circular circa 1860-1870, read the History of Zionism Walter Laqueur, hell read the Talmud, the Torah, f@ck read anything and stop being a blind, coward and read. stop waiting for the rapture.
Troll, pure and simple. I am very educated, as most of my posts are well written and spelled. (Not all of course :)) As for reading your selected works, perhaps you should understand that there are plenty of works out there, but the most poigniant is current history. Read the Koran and realize the Islam does not preach blind violence. The Koran does not teach jihad as is being used in the region. Heck, READ anything yourself you idiot.Posted by Mac at July 31, 2006 06:49 AM
I like Mac, he's dead on target.
go cav , could be quoted by any 17 year old military buff. It proves you can read or that you grew up around a military base or you've seen Platton or a dozen other war flicks.
I've worked with dozens of these wannabe bozos. Every war or skirmish generates them, even an unpopular war like Viet Nam did. This phenomenon is as old as fighting.
15 minutes after the first cave monkey threw a rock, 10 other cave monkeys claimed they were there. Some of them were probably very convincing, might even have impressed some good looking girl cave monkeys. Dancing around, mimicking a rock thrower, gibbering go cav!!
Yo, YCAM, if it's blood money you earned, give it to Red Crescent to help the poor victims of U.S. aggression. Don't eat, drink or travel on it and certainly don't enjoy any of it, that makes you a hypocrite.Posted by Steve at July 31, 2006 03:22 PM
I've worked with dozens of these wannabe bozos.
Sure, one of them is now the President of the United States.
bad bloodPosted by anonymous at July 31, 2006 04:18 PM
I said of commenter, your cowards and morons,
I've worked with dozens of these wannabe bozos.
later this was posted,
Sure, one of them is now the President of the United States.
So, Mike, did you take my comment TOTALLY out of context, or what? Yeah, I think you did!
It doesn't matter what any of us say about the Middle East, Hezzbollah, Al Queda, Iran, Syria or the rest of the Islamic world. The Israelis and us, Christians that is, are gonna win Mike, my bible tells me that.
THAT ought to send a few people over the edge!!
Well, well, well...
It turns out the shooter was a Christian.
Can we call the holy war off now?Posted by Duncan Young at August 1, 2006 11:38 AM
The shooter seems to think differently. He referenced himself as a Muslim-American, and then proceeded to shoot with that pretext.
Yes, I've read the accounts from family members and friends that suggests the criminal converted to Christianity. The quote from the friend goes on to say that he didn't stay up with the Christian religion. Haq also considered becoming a Mormon, and Haq was a Muslim prior to becoming a Christian. His previous history is a pretty mixed bag, but there is no doubt what religion he claimed when he committed murder.Posted by Leland at August 2, 2006 09:19 AM
And that makes him somehow more of a problem, or different to the crazy who shot up a post rave house party in Seattle a few months ago?Posted by Daveon at August 2, 2006 09:34 AM
Daveon, if your comment is directed at me, I'd say the shooter's religion is irrelevant. I disagree with Rand that the guy should be labeled a terrorist and shot, because I think what Rand is referring to is the provision in the Geneva Conventions for handling mercenaries, and this guy doesn't fit that description.
I'm for giving him a speedy trial and remove all automatic appeals. I think this approach is wise for any gunman who does something like Huff or Haq, regardless of the motivation. These guys are fast moving serial killers, and they need to be just as quickly removed from society.Posted by Leland at August 2, 2006 06:11 PM
The issue is not that he is a mercenary. It's that he's making war against us out of uniform. That's a violation of the Geneva Conventions (trifles that no one cares about unless it's done by the US or Israel).Posted by Rand Simberg at August 2, 2006 06:38 PM
He is not making war, or rather, he might be but pretending he is doesn't remotely help, especially inside the US.
The probability is that like the nutter a couple of months ago, he's a Seattle crazy. They've a few of them. Love Seattle as I do, and I'll be living there from Ocotober, there's a fair few unhinged people up there... probably the climate.
Summary trials and war footing are a bad idea. Look up Diplock Courts, within the context of Northern Ireland, and look at how that turned out for everyone.Posted by Daveon at August 3, 2006 03:18 AM
Leland, the comment was not directed at you, just generally at Rand and this thread. I agree with you on this. Labelling things as terrorism and deciding to treat them differently can cause a lot of problems.
Not least of which is trigger happy cops killing Brazlian Electricians while they're on their way to work because somebody thought they were Arab.Posted by Daveon at August 3, 2006 03:19 AM
Rand, the Geneva Conventions consider acts of war out of uniform a war crime, but under conditions of imprisonment, it still requires that those people are provided a trial. Prisoners can be shot without trial if they perform some act of perfidy (like the Marine who shot the prisoner in Fallujah was within his rights) or if the prisoner is a mercenary (as most suicide bombers are).Posted by Leland at August 3, 2006 05:42 AM
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